May 2012 | Text: Hubert von Goisern

There are plausible motives for a journey to Greenland: the incredibly impressive, sublime natural world, or the culture, or the art of survival of the friendly Inuits, who have managed to push the boundaries of civilisation to this place. There are also good reasons for partnerships with the natives.
But wanting to present the cosmopolitan nature of the Schladming Ski World Championships 2013 in Greenland of all places, invoking attributes such as "clean", "green" and "sustainable" beggars belief. It's beyond the pale!
"Of course we've paid the CO2 certificate for the journey" (That's like believing that paying a fine gives you the right to park your car in a pedestrian zone). And: who are "we" really? Even if this atrocity isn't to take any ÖSV (Austrian Ski Association) money and will be financed exclusively by sponsors, it has cost public money – because it's clear that it's likely all being subsidised by tax money.
"We" acknowledge that besides the numerous deserving sportsmen and women, C. L. Attersee hasn't shied away from taking part in this and "we" are incredulous at Monika Langthaler's participation as a consultant in environmental sustainability.

No – all joking aside, as stated at the start: Greenland is worth a visit. Go and let yourself be enchanted by the unspoiled, phenomenal natural world, by the magnificence of creation. But travel in small groups; at best alone and – no matter who or what you are - count on long weather-related delays on your journeys there and back.
And if you have additional funds at your disposal: make contact with the Inuits and support projects that benefit the children and young people. The numerous international campaigns to outlaw the hunting tradition of a people that has lived there for 5000 years have been effective and to a large extent have revoked a way of life for the Inuits. Lacking alternative opportunities, the result has been a drastic increase in the suicide rate. Those affected the most are young people between the ages of 15 and 20. Perhaps one or the other (if they can afford it) can be helped to deal with life by skiing?! And if the Americans can have a military base there, why can't the ÖSV have a summer training camp?

And as far as Schladming is concerned: have you ever been to the Dachstein, Mr Schröcksnadel? That's the mountain you can see from the start line on Planai. There are glaciers there too, which could have offered a spectacular backdrop to a show race and a presentation. Weather permitting ;-))